At the end of every episode, Art would drag his microphone over to where several spit-and-polished elementary-age school kids were sitting and "interview" them using questions that often provoked hilarious answers. (You can see some of these on YouTube.) This segment became wildly popular, leading to Kids Say the Darndest Things, the title of a later program Art co-hosted with Bill Cosby as well as of a book-length collection of the funny answers children had given on these shows. Over time the name "Art Linkletter" became synonymous with his observation that, indeed, "kids say the darndest things."
The past few days I have been thinking what a great "House Party" guest Sooby would have made at her present age of three years and eleven months. I honestly can't imagine where she gets some of the off-the-wall things she comes up with. Here are a few examples from just last week:
- We are eating barbecued ribs with my parents on my birthday. Sooby is scraping the sauce off all the ribs on the serving plate. She announces that she really likes this "ham icing."
- One night at bedtime, we are singing "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window." She insists on the following substitutions: "How much is that doggie in the office--the one with the flag in his mouth." (At least she got the meter right.)
- I ask her if she wants some ice cream on her strawberry shortcake. "No," she says, "it hurts my brain."
- She is helping me mix the batter for my birthday cake. I let her break the eggs. She says she is "hatching" them.
- She hands me a piece of paper and says it is a "mysterious invitation." Later, she uses the verb "transform." Where did those big words come from?